Well, that happened.
At last night's Video Game Awards Kojima stole the show with a strange look into his mysterious new project, "Death Stranding."
In the entirety of the gaming industry there are few creators quite like Hideo Kojima. The man behind the classic Metal Gear franchise has written and directed around 14 different projects over the course of his three-decade career working on video games. Each of these endeavours have been packed with cinematic action sequences, fascinating characters, and oftentimes bizarre melodrama. Kojima's scripts have always been delightfully strange trips down the rabbit hole of militarism, espionage, and the philosophy of the battlefield. Though at times his work can be heavy-handed and so damn surreal you will start to wonder if you took something before playing, he is undeniably and unabashedly creative.
Kojima's willingness to explore the odd and unpleasant is on full display in the second trailer for his upcoming game "Death Stranding": his first foray into the gaming industry after the hostile legal mess that was his expulsion from Konami. Now, with his own studio and a much deserved Industry Icon award in hand, he is prodding the excitement of fans the world over.
The first trailer, starring a nude Norman Reedus stranded alone on a beach strewn with the decaying bodies of marine animals, was so blatantly "Kojima" in its oddball artiness and deviously cryptic nature. Though it gave no real indication of what the hell was actually going on in the game, it managed to pique interest around the net. What was this weird new project Kojima was working on? Why is Norman Reedus buck naked on a beach of whale corpses? Am I high? If there is anything the man is talented at it is building curiosity in gamers.
With the VGA 2016 trailer that he premiered live last night, Kojima-san has outdone himself. If the first trailer was weird, then the second is downright nuts. Heaving synths pulse in and out of the background as Guillermo Del Toro -- the Mexican film maker behind dark fantasy horror films such as "Pan's Labyrinth" and the sci-fi Kaiju flick "Pacific Rim" -- traverses an oily landscape of more dead sea creatures while carrying a baby in some sort of artificial robotic womb. That alone is weird enough to have people puzzling over it for some time, but things only get more surreal from there. In just about five minutes the viewer is treated to a floating baby doll with a nail through its head, black tendrils slithering over a lifeless war-torn city, oozing worm creatures on a tank and actor Mads Mikkelson controlling a squad of undead United States soldiers from World War II.
Does that description sound absolutely insane? Then it is probably doing what it is supposed to. Despite how absurd it all seems, the trailer does come together quite nicely, building a sense of unease as it takes you through a small snippet of this new, dark world. Having watched the trailer about five or six times already all I can really say is that I have no idea what the hell it is, but I like it and want more. Kojima-san, you have my attention.